OUR TIME IS NOW! Young workers demand a Voice in the Work Place and in Trade Unions​

12 August 2018 05:48


On this year’s International Youth Day, the BWI calls on unions to fight for decent jobs for young workers. BWI also calls on trade unions to include young workers and members in trade union structures to strengthen the future of the trade union movement. 

"Unions are important actors for change in society and we must include young people to be leaders in the struggle against precarious work, for fair wages, safe and inclusive workplaces as well as against the big injustices in our societies. Young workers have demanded a stronger voice within our organization and we hope that the recently created International Youth Committee will provide a platform for young representatives to raise their demands," said Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the BWI.

The high level of youth unemployment is creating a collective level of frustration by the young people all over the world. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are about 71 million unemployed young people and 156 million young workers are living in poverty. Young workers all over the world are also suffering disproportionately from workplace accidents.

The impact of long-term unemployment and poor working conditions on youth are devastating. The spread of nationalism and racism, climate change and constantly growing inequalities also mean many young people are living in constant fear of the future. 

The world is in crisis but movements that are challenging status quo are growing. Young people are at the forefront of struggles such as Black Lives Matter in the USA, the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, among environment defenders and in unions fighting for decent jobs. 

In different parts of the world, we see young people speaking up against political injustices and corporate greed that exploits both people and the earth’s resources. 

The BWI calls on all its affiliates to continue encouraging young workers’ inclusion in trade unions’ decision-making structures. It is time for young workers to unite and to speak up for their rights to build a better future for all.

#ourtimeisnow #BWIyouth #powertotheyouth

International Youth Day is celebrated on the 12th of August each year all over the world to draw attention to youth issues. It is designated by the United Nations and has been celebrated since year 2000.